Top 3 Facebook Ad Mistakes

Cookies are good. Fact. White chocolate and raspberry in particular.

No two platforms are the same. So, no two strategies will work the same, either.

Facebook doesn’t convert visitors the same way as Google Ads (formerly AdWords). So, you can’t create ads the same way on both platforms. Running Facebook ads without confronting this difference can backfire. It will look fine on the surface, but in reality sabotages your own efforts in a channel where customers behave completely different. Because their expectations are completely different, too.

3 Mistakes (and how to fix them)

1. Expecting Facebook to Convert like Google Ads

Conversions are starting to flow on Google Ads, it’s looking good. So, you copy that strategy onto Facebook, buuuuuuuut it’s costing extra money, and not proving the extra returns you’d hoped for.

People go to Google to deliberately search for things they want or need, be that information or consumable goods. Unfortunately, you don’t have that intent on Facebook. In fact, you typically have the opposite. People are going to Facebook in order to NOT make any decisions for the next ten minutes (except procrastinate a little longer).

The difference is, on Google, people are at the end of the sales funnel ready to spend some coin. On Facebook we have to start at the beginning.

The Fix: Top of the funnel campaigns to help you build new audiences. We’re talking content campaigns, so you can bring people back to your site and track them with a pixel for retargeting. In doing so, you’ve got an engaged audience to send targeted offers for eBooks, webinars, checklists, free trials, and all of the other classic middle of the funnel offers.

Targeting is the single biggest factor in Facebook ad success (or lack thereof). So, you have to lay the groundwork, first, building up custom audiences that you can later come back to, to eventually promote your products and services.


2. Audience Mismatches Your Offer

The new audiences you’re building in Facebook add complexity (as if it wasn’t already difficult enough).

You’re now working with three levels of the sales funnel 1) trying to generate new attention, 2) nurture existing people, and 3) converting those who are ready… which creates even more problems for you. Offering users who haven’t heard of your company before a “Buy Now!” ad would be inappropriate at this stage in the game, it would even seem threatening and scare them off. It’s like that joke about meeting someone new in a bar and asking them to marry you straightaway, which, naturally, would send the other person running for cover.

The Fix:

  • Top of the sales funnel. Give them a chance to get to know you first by showing them content-based offers such as blog posts, white papers, videos, or podcasts.
  • Middle of the funnel. These are the people who’ve been to your website or interacted with you on Facebook. They know who you are, but may not be sure of what you do. Or, they’re not yet convinced that you’re the right person for the job. At this stage, they’re ready for low-ticket items such as software trials, consultations, low-cost purchases, and webinars.
  • Ready to buy. These are users who have either bought from you before or have ‘raised their hand’ by opting-in for a consultation or promotion. They’re ready to go. And are finally ready for those fancy, new “Buy Now!” graphics you’ve been itching to promote.


3. Audience is Too Big or Too Small

The trick is that you’ll need a big enough audience for Facebook to help self-correct or optimize campaigns automatically. Too small and you miss out on that added bonus.

Facebook ad audience size is a catch-22.

  • Too big? And you’re sure to waste most of your budget on unqualified prospects.
  • Too small? And custom audiences of less than 1,000 won’t work, either.

The Fix: Instead, look for the ‘sweet spots’ for campaigns at each stage of the funnel to make sure you’re getting (enough) cost-effective results.

So, for example, if you’re creating a brand-new, top-of-funnel audience using interest targeting, shoot for potential reach that’s somewhere between 500,000 and a million. Got a bigger budget? Feel free to move into the 1-2 million range.


Find out more about the work Sapphire Mountain does and who we’ve worked with.


Article Based on findings from the AdEspresso Blog.


Building an Organic Audience on Social Media

We’ve recently had people asking us for info on building an organic audience on social media.

In short, content is king. Create blog posts that people will want to read, post videos that people want to watch and then link it back to your website.

Increasing your social media followers happens when you engage and build relationships on each network. The more you post interesting and relevant content the more likes and shares it will get, and so the more people you’ll reach.

Provide awesome visuals that not only stand out, but speak volumes about you, your product and your story. The best visuals on social media tend to include:

  • Vibrant colors and well-designed layouts
  • High-level photography
  • Visuals telling stories
  • Visuals showing products or services in a new light

In a recent video released by Facebook IQ, people consumed video content on Facebook and Instagram 5x longer than they did static content. This all helps when building an organic audience on social media.

Once you start to build up your quality of content, you’ll encourage external sites to link to your site with social media. Creating ‘in-bound links’ that are great for SEO.

Keep content short

With shorter attention spans contributing to the rise of online video, publishers need to make sure their own content on Facebook and Instagram is digestible and impactful, so that it not only captures the attention of users as they scroll through their feeds but also relays brand messaging or key points at the very beginning of the video. When writing blog posts, aim for these to be around 250 – 300 words to benefit your SEO and then share on social by ‘splintering’, one article can create 5 posts by pulling out different aspects.

Write Blog Posts with High Conversion Keywords

On all social networks, certain keywords generate more engagement than others. They attract more clicks and get more exposure. Using them intelligently in your social media updates can increase the visibility and effectiveness of your posts. Short Tail keywords used on social will increase reach, while longtail keywords in blog posts will improve your SEO.

Short Tail Keyword examples – Skiing, Alps

Long Tail Keyword example – Extreme Sports Photography Meribel, Laurie Taylor Signs Head Sponsor


Driving conversions and traffic from social media requires a combination of tweaks to your posts, and some structural changes to your website and blog that will become apparent through analytic tracking. In line with that, you need to keep a close eye on your social media stats to understand which content is performing well and how you can leverage it to increase your overall social media engagement.

3 Reasons to Understand the Sales Funnel

What is the sales funnel?

In it’s simplest form, the sales funnel represents the path to purchase that consumers take. First they become aware of who you are, what you sell, and more importantly, what your brand stands for. Then they move into the consideration category where they marry up how well your brand represents them as a person. In this stage they will explore their wants and needs and browse your product offerings. Purchase only happens when the consumer has decided that they need your product or want your brand to be a part of their lifestyle. Finally, brand loyalty, the thing we all dream of. When you have impressed that consumer enough that they come back for more and convince all their friends to buy your products too.

As you’ll see the sales funnel is an upside down triangle, this represents the volume of people at each stage, and really it’s mostly common sense.


Sales Funnel

Why Does it Matter

So why does this diagram even matter, everyone knows that more people will be aware of a brand than loyal brand evangelists. Well, it’s not so much about the very obvious words written in the little upside down triangle, it’s about HOW you help consumers move from one stage to another. The journey if you will. Here are my three reasons why you should understand the sales funnel;

Reason 1: knowledge is power – ignorance is bliss, but ignorance doesn’t lead to increased profits. Once you take the time to consider each category and how a consumer actually moves from one section to another you’ll be able to set a strategy in place.

Reason 2: more often than not, consumers don’t move through the sales funnel by themselves. It takes inspirational pictures on social media, adverts on their favourite websites and knowing when they need a helping hand. If you understand where your consumers are in the sales funnel, making a strategy is a whole lot easier.

Reason 3: you’ve learnt more about your prospective consumers, you’ve started to raise awareness in the correct places and driven desire at the times when they are sitting on the fence. Your strategy is working and you’re making people’s lives better for it, just look at all those happy faces. You’re winning.


Breaking Down the Snow Sports Industry

Snow sports fall into the ‘lifestyle’ category, we aren’t selling people things they need like food or electricity. We’re building a world for them based on desires and aspiration. Do they really need to buy the latest Goggles with built in GPS? No, but look how happy it makes them. We allow people to live their dreams, and that should be reflected in the way you present your brand and all your communications. Even if you take ski wax as an example, we don’t need it. Is it aspirational? Not when you think of it as wax… however when you communicate the freedom that comes from ripping it down a black run at full tilt, damn I wish I was there! The best way to help people through that sales funnel in the snow sports industry – give them something to dream about. Check out some of our work for examples to give you a bit of creative inspiration.


View Our Work